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July 2, 2012

The Silver Fox Came Out

Yay! It’s about damn time. We love you to pieces and we think you being open about being a homosexual could do a lot of good in a world where gay kids are killing themselves and we’re discriminated against daily. A public figure coming out is always a good thing.

In an letter to Andrew Sullivan for The Daily Beast, beloved television journalist and talk show host Anderson Cooper ended years of speculation by confirming he’s gay. And he wrote very eloquently about it:

The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.

I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don’t give that up by being a journalist.

Since my early days as a reporter, I have worked hard to accurately and fairly portray gay and lesbian people in the media – and to fairly and accurately portray those who for whatever reason disapprove of them. It is not part of my job to push an agenda, but rather to be relentlessly honest in everything I see, say and do. I’ve never wanted to be any kind of reporter other than a good one, and I do not desire to promote any cause other than the truth.

He’s always been a class act. Sullivan had asked the silver fox to weigh in on Entertainment Weekly’s recent look at celebrities coming out in an “off-handed” way without a giant media furor. Cooper gave permission for his reply to be posted this morning.

To read the entirety of Anderson’s coming out letter, Follow the JUMP:

Andrew, as you know, the issue you raise is one that I’ve thought about for years. Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to.

But I’ve also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons. Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I’ve often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own. I have found that sometimes the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job as a journalist.

I’ve always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn’t matter. I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I’ve been directly asked “the gay question,” which happens occasionally. I did not address my sexual orientation in the memoir I wrote several years ago because it was a book focused on war, disasters, loss and survival. I didn’t set out to write about other aspects of my life.

Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.

I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand.

The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.

I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don’t give that up by being a journalist.

Since my early days as a reporter, I have worked hard to accurately and fairly portray gay and lesbian people in the media – and to fairly and accurately portray those who for whatever reason disapprove of them. It is not part of my job to push an agenda, but rather to be relentlessly honest in everything I see, say and do. I’ve never wanted to be any kind of reporter other than a good one, and I do not desire to promote any cause other than the truth.

Being a journalist, traveling to remote places, trying to understand people from all walks of life, telling their stories, has been the greatest joy of my professional career, and I hope to continue doing it for a long time to come. But while I feel very blessed to have had so many opportunities as a journalist, I am also blessed far beyond having a great career.

I love, and I am loved.

In my opinion, the ability to love another person is one of God’s greatest gifts, and I thank God every day for enabling me to give and share love with the people in my life. I appreciate your asking me to weigh in on this, and I would be happy for you to share my thoughts with your readers. I still consider myself a reserved person and I hope this doesn’t mean an end to a small amount of personal space. But I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy.

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3,263 Comments - View all

Jordan Schaps 2:35am on September 19, 2012

Beautiful - and very articulate. I totally agree and endorse his stance. His is heroic.

  • Boomer84

    Good for him. This is a really well written letter, with a lot of valid points about why he choose to keep that side of him undisclosed. He is right, that ideally in a perfect world, it would not matter, but we don’t live in a perfect world, and in this political climate, it does matter. Someone of his influence, by being visible, can help expedite equality (hopefully). But that’s cool that he finally acknowledged it.

  • David

    This is a good thing.  Now maybe we can have an all-gay news channel on TV with Anderson Cooper, Thomas Roberts and Rachel Maddow- I know I’d watch that more than our present “alleged” gay channel, LOGO.

  • GayMeUp

    Good for Anderson.  And his professional reasons are better than the typical notion of keeping a private life.

    I wonder, though, about his notion that in a “perfect world” one’s sexual desires would be no one else’s business.  Do folks think that that’s true?  Is a perfect world one where desire is completely private?  Isn’t the whole point of a sexual revolution, queer liberation movement that sexuality become a legitimate matter of public display, concern, celebration, experimentation?

  • Artjunky

    yes, yes indeed.

  • Anon

    In other pressing news: water is wet, the sun came up today, and homosexuals do not have a mental disorder. 

  • Tony Lankester

    Unsure I agree on your “perfect world” point – but get your drift.

    I still believe that Mr Cooper deserves serious congratulations for the way he expressed his view on the world.  It deserves recognition and serious reflection.  I am so pleased he had the courage to express his heartfelt views.

    Tony

  • Twomeninflorida

    wonderful guy

  • Emmdee

    Anderson Cooper has always been one of my favorite journalists. He’s smart, funny, an excellent interviewer and most importantly, fair. This is the kind of man the gay community should be looking up to, not idolizing the steroid abusing porn “stars” and hookers (I’m sorry, “escorts”) that too often we seem to put up on pedestals.

  • BLACKjackHAMMER

    I have always thought of Anderson Cooper as one of the finest journalist in  the business of delivering the news and the share eloquence of his profession showed in a very heart felt letter . Anderson wears his integrity as journalist on his sleeve   there is never any doubt as  to where he stands on issues  ( speaking of standing ) I can remember Anderson standing in waist high water pleading for help for the  People who had the misfortune of being in the path of hurricane Katrina or when  he stood on top mounds and mounds  of  rubble ( what looked like a war zone  )  after the  Earth Quake that struck Hatti  and more recently Fukushima,Japan  after shock after after shocks  shock already fragile ground the sounds of the tsunami warnings could clearly be heard  on televisions sets  thousands on thousands of miles away . I could go on and on in talking about this man and his true love of  his profession that he so diligently deliver every night to a grateful audience . That is the Anderson Cooper that I have  grown to respect and that is the Anderson Cooper that I will continue to RESPECT !!  My hat goes off to this man for all the right reason … 

  • BLACKjackHAMMER

    I am not sure if Fukushima is the name of the city that the nuclear  plant is  located in or is in fact the name of the nuclear facility itself

  • Guy

    Seriously got a boner just from reading that letter.

    Couldn’t be happier!

  • Jerry

    This “news story” first hit the airwaves and internet some time ago.  He said he was gay before.  This website even had pics of him with his latest “snatch.”  Why is it “news” again?

  • Mattyrec78

    And in equally shocking news the Earth is round and revolves around the sun… quite a news day!   so now are we gonna finally get an “Top or Bottom” for Anderson…. like that will be a shock too.. lol

  • Anonymous

    Anderson Cooper is an elegant, classy and very sexy man. Our community could be be so much better if we emulated and followed his example in our lives.

  • Grad_jock

     Couldn’t agree more!

  • Anonymous

    All of this aside the publics “blood lust” is never sated.  Someone will be the next target.  Just a question of when.

  • Raverboi

    Am an Aussie so dont really know this guy apart from what i’v learnt about him on here…but he’s sounds like a pretty damn amazing bloke….someone that we could definately use over here in our media…he’s seem like the kinda bloke you’d be proud to take home and meet  your mum 🙂

  • Good on Anderson for being clear about this. Yes, all of us with gaydar already knew and most without it had heard all the rumblings and suspected but it’s an important move on his part. We should support and encourage him and allow him to be an inspiration (just like those who came out before him) for those that are still in the closet, personally and professionally.  It’s not about it being “news” at all, it’s about him being publicly authentic about who he is. We aren’t quite at the place where this sexual identity isn’t “news worthy” but until that time we need others to follow his lead to help us reach that place. Change happens slowly.

  • jboy

    Hi raverboi, love me some aussie men. But, i must say, I have not been this shocked since Ricky Martin and Clay Aiken came out.    Next you re going to tell me that Richard Simmons amd barry Manilow are gay. I can t take it. I may not follow Anders career, but have always had deep respect for him. He s focused, objective and knows exactly what he s doing. Could a role model for us all get any better? take it Dewitt.

  • Doug

    I  have always admired this man! His honesty and broadcasts have been so professional, sincere and open to the world’s events. We need more commentators like
    Anderson…the world would be a better place! Thanks AC for your well written letter and hope that others with important roles in the news, sports and industry. Maybe others will follow…

  • Shoesize15

    Anderson is such an eloquent journalist…he puts to shame many of the other so-called media news reporters we have to listen to.  Good on him for his official coming out. It’s important for the world to see that not all gays are perverts.

  • jboy

    Oh yes we are! He just happens to wear a suit.

  • Mike H

    Anderson, if you happen to read this, you are loved by the gay community and your mother is absolutely fabulous! I hope you will keep up giving us excellent news stories for years to come! You are one of the best in the business!

  • Thor-king

    really?!
    yeah, let’s continue pointing out differences between individuals in our society based upon sexual preference.
    I want to watch a TV where no one gives a damn if you are straight or gay and being labeled and stereotyped as such

  • ManhattanAtHeart

    Very well said Emmdee.   VERY well said.

  • joeat

    Call it the way you want, but the bastard is still a slimy liberal.  

  • Jordan Schaps

    Beautiful – and very articulate. I totally agree and endorse his stance. His is heroic.

  • Jordan Schaps

    Beautiful – and very articulate. I totally agree and endorse his stance. His is heroic.

  • Jordan Schaps

    Beautiful – and very articulate. I totally agree and endorse his stance. His is heroic.